Impressive Omelettes and an Inspiring New Book

It’s amazing how a long weekend can be so relaxing AND cause the following week to fly by. Mondays need to be a holiday more often…

I never ended up posting this epic crock pot creation from Monday night so before I forget, here it is…

imageFirst time ever cooking with plantains and after this meal, it certainly won’t be my last.  Though this Indian inspired Paleo dinner was delicious, I think it would be better if it was cooked stove top rather than in the crock pot.  I placed a layer of onions on the bottom, then 3 chicken breasts, poured the sauce (mixture of 1/2 cup coconut milk, curry powder, garlic, ground ginger and cumin) over the chicken and then topped with 2 sliced plantains.  The coconut milk and curry mixture tasted amazing before going into the crock pot so I have a feeling the moisture from the slow cooker caused the sauce to lose some flavor.  I will try it stove top and report back because this has potential to be a phenomenal dinner.

I am happy to report that I was able to get through a 6 mile speed workout yesterday, but I am not happy to report what I did to motivate myself for this run. Despite my new and wonderful treadmill that my awesome parents gave to me me for my birthday….I paid to go to my old gym just because I needed some extra motivation to get the speed work done. I needed that gym vibe to tackle this workout…don’t worry mom, I won’t do it again! However, it did allow me to add in some box jumps and rows after my run so we can pretend I went to the gym for the rowing machine 😉

I am also happy to report that my morning omelette have been getting pretty darn impressive.  I may only use 3 egg whites and 1 egg but after the variety of veggies I throw in, it can get pretty big…

imageI don’t know if I’m being creative or it’s just too early to think about the flavor combinations…regardless, it was delicious.  Here we have some mushrooms, onions, celery, butternut squash and baked plantains

I will wrap this post up with a couple of pages from the new book I am reading.  The book is called Power Speed Endurance by Brian Mackenzie and Glen Cordova.  This book immediately had me hooked when it started off about a runner that used to think the only way to improve his marathon time was by logging more miles…well with many injuries later, he tried a different approach to training and found significant improvement.  His change of training was in the direction of Crossfit 🙂

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Essentially, Crossfit builds athletes to not only be strong but to be powerful, agile, coordinated, fast and flexible.  I can truly say the combination of all these physical skills has greatly improved my running and has allowed to me improve my times without spending hours running and feeling the need to log high mileage. With the ability to mix up my training and do a variety of things whether it be crossfit, yoga or hitting the road for a nice run, I am never bored with my training. I can honestly say I am usually always excited to get my workouts in.  This excitement is key to making the best out of each minute of training.

A Little Treadmill Running

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

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What a great line.  I almost don’t want to write anything else in this post because nothing I say can beat those words.  But here goes a shot..

I can’t believe it’s been a week since I’ve posted last! Some pretty good stuff has happened in the mean time😃 and by good stuff I mean SOME RUNNING! I was limiting my running to only 1 short run a week in hopes of getting my tibia tendon feeling better.  Well, this week I got in 2 great treadmill runs at higher mileage than usual. Still not where I want to be this close to my Disney Half Marathon but sometimes you just have to embrace the little steps. I don’t think I will even fully enjoy a treadmill run but a great TV show or movie can certainly help make that time speed up a bit.

Tuesday evening I thought I would try out the running thing because I had a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday and I wanted to be able to pinpoint my pain so I could be specific as possible.  Well, that did not work out much because I actually had NO PAIN. I definitely finished that run with the biggest smile on my face.

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I had no expectations of how the run would go because 5am Crossfit had my legs feeling like jello and the most I have been able to do with no pain was 3 miles. This time around, my legs were feeling fine at mile 3 and the final episode of Orange is the New Black was getting pretty intense so I kept going.  I had to finish the episode, it was way too suspenseful to stop.  Sure enough it ended right when I hit mile 4 and I decided to call it a day.  I wanted to do a longer run on Wednesday so I didn’t try to push it.

Wednesday’s afternoon I went to my doctors for my tibia pain. We both were pretty sure it was an overuse of the tibia tendon.  I have been able to do everything in crossfit including far too many burpees and box jumps so we ruled out a stress fracture and a couple other things.  I left the doctors with no bad news which is great, but I am in the same spot as I was in terms of identifying what is going on.   I guess I am sticking with the whole “ease back into the running thing and if the lingering pain later in the runs keeps up, go back”….so naturally with that information, I went home and jumped on the treadmill.  Put on the movie “Stuck on Love” and ran a solid pain-free 4 1/2 miles.

Thursday did not have any running but I certainly made up for it in pulls up and push ups..

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And and of course all the 20 inch boxes were taken so I stepped it up literally with the 24 inch box.  I ended up doing all 75 at that height and was quite impressed with myself.

I was also quite impressed with the dinner I made after crossfit…

imageGrilled Flank Steak topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions with a side of baked asparagus and carrots.

This was another great Paleo meal, but I have to admit, I am starting to miss the little things outside of Paleo.  I miss a little wine with dinner, I miss a little arctic zero for dessert, I miss my Ezekiel toast with banana snack…I miss not having to over analyze my meals and double checking if everything is Paleo.  At the end of the day, all those things are small and really aren’t anything I should complain about, but I guess I am the type of person that doesn’t do well when I feel restricted. Even if those restrictions are so small. There is also the whole “this is a competition” thing happening as well. Yah sure, I could decide to have a little dessert after dinner, it just means I don’t get points for that meal. No big deal, right? Wrong. Not for someone like me.  The idea of getting points off just doesn’t sit well, even if I don’t even care about winning! Sometimes my brain just doesn’t make sense.  So after some thinking, I decided that if I want to do this Paleo challenge the healthy way, and by healthy I mean mentally healthy, I am going to have to just go with the flow and not take anything too serious.  I will continue to create delicious Paleo meals but allow myself to break the rules and take the point deduction. It was very reassuring to hear on Saturday morning at crossfit that others in the challenge were feeling the same way.  It is funny how the thought of not being able to have something just makes us want it more.

It was also reassuring to know that I still have a good eye and a good shot….Had a nice day trip to Cabelas on Saturday and if you know our trips to Cabelas, you know that they are not complete without a competitive shootout at the arcade. So mature of us.

imageWould you look at that score!  That score not only means WINNER, it also means I don’t have to pay for dinner 😉

Before I end this post, I thought I’d throw in a couple more food/meal creations. This Friday night dinner was made in about 10 minutes and it was the best way to use up leftover veggies that were about to bad.

imagePour a can of no salt added diced tomatoes in a pot, add some chopped onions, mushrooms, garlic, carrots, left over baked Brussel sprouts and left over ground turkey.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes on medium heat and the flavors come together for a delicious and quick meal.

Another way to get rid of leftover vegetables is by throwing them all into an omlette…

imageMy ice cream craving was getting pretty intense Friday so instead of giving in, I came home from school and whipped up some banana ice cream (blend a frozen banana and some frozen berries until it reaches an ice cream consistency) topped with cacao nibs and a drizzle of almond butter.

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Oh and in the midst of this crazy week we almost took home a puppy…

imageBut we found out this morning that the people before us ended up taking it.  It was tough to hear because this cutie definitely had us hooked.  It is what it is.  Maybe it just wasn’t our time for a new pup.

Another Snow Day and Some Paleo Creations

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This is normally the case but not today.  We had another Snow Day.  Now that I am all caught up with my work, this snow day was not as exciting.  A snow day every once in a while is great but back to back starts to become annoying.  Especially when there wasn’t really any snow…

The good news is, I was able to get my pre paleo challenge benchmark WOD done at 7am rather than 5:30pm when the box is packed.  I am already excited to do it again in 6 weeks after the challenge is complete to see some growth…hopefully!

Another benefit to this snow day was a morning full of baking paleo creations!  The key to eating healthy and clean without feeling deprived or insane is creating meals and snacks that are just as tasty and delicious without all the unnecessary crap.  It may take some extra time and money to get the ingredients but the way your body reacts when it is fueled with quality food is well worth it.   I give myself a cheat meal every week to reward myself but sometimes it just reminds me why I don’t eat like that on a regular basis.  After eating out, I always feel bloated, and sometimes shakey and hot from the sugar and carbs.

Lets get back to these paleo creations I was talking about because they are way too great to not show.  But first, let me just address some business I had to take care of last night before the paleo challenge began…

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Yup, it was necessary to get rid of all non-paleo temptations.  So after I polished off the Ezekiel bread with a chicken sandwich with sautéed onion and mushroom, I had to move on to finishing off the last of my arctic zero.

Now onto the things that replace these processed foods.  After this morning’s WOD, I had to get some food in me before I started the baking marathon.  I opted for a nice little stack of banana pancakes with some pure maple syrup. (Blended 1 banana, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp coconut flour, cinnamon and a pinch of baking soda)

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Next was some homemade Paleo Ketchup because if you know me, you KNOW that I can’t go without ketchup.  I found a pretty simple recipe that just called for tomato paste, water, apple cider vinegar, mustard powder, pepper, Himalayan pink salt, cinnamon, ground cloves and a splash of maple syrup.

Now let’s get to the fun stuff… Paleo Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies made with almond flour, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla bean extract, paleo chocolate chips, cacao nibs, and unsweetened coconut flakes.   Can’t wait to try one after dinner, the smell is killer!

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Speaking of dinner…

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Yup.  No words necessary.  

And the best part of all…it took about 5 minutes to prep.  2/3 cup of low sodium chicken broth, a layer of chopped sweet onion, 3 chicken breasts, chopped apple, a variety of spices and a drizzle of honey.

It is safe to say that the paled challenge is off to a great start!  I am excited to take part in this challenge for a couple of reasons.

First of all, I don’t know how to turn down a challege..ha ha.

Second, I still have some thoughts lingering from my “want to be super lean” stage where I obsessed about food and the amount of sugar and carbs.  I used to think an apple was a bad snack because it had sugar and carbs.  I was obsessed with eating every 2-3 hours because I thought that was what I HAD to do to gain muscle.  I have come a long way from that part of my life and that mindset.  Thankfully. First and foremost, I don’t obsess.  Food is not something that should be a stressor. Second, I eat when I am hungry, not based on a time and I feed that hunger with foods that are wholesome and nutrient dense.  However, every once in a while I have those little moments where I over think about the carbs or suagr content in something as healthy as a banana or oatmeal.  This paleo challenge is helping me rid all those thoughts.  With many foods now eliminated, I can’t opt for those low-calorie choices simply because they are low-calorie.  I HAVE to opt for fruit, nuts, avocados, meats, honey..I can’t over analyze the carbs, fats, and sugar.  That being said, it is certainly important to be aware and mindful…MODERATION IS ALWAYS IMPORTANT.  

Well I apologize if all the food pictures and the little personal rant was not very exciting.  Maybe this will help you crack a smile!

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….or maybe I just found it funny because I am 100% guilty of this!